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ENA improves interactive roadmap for network companies to reach Distribution System Operation

01 April 2021


Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) world-leading Open Network’s project has made another step towards the network of the future with the latest updates to an interactive roadmap which supports network companies in reaching Distribution System Operation (DSO).

Published today, the updates include:

  • An extended search function to find relevant steps across the roadmap
  • A data extraction tool that allows users to download all underlying data
  • Improved functionality and overall usability such as the removal of pop-up windows for enhanced accessibility

With supply and demand patterns shifting, building a smarter, more accessible energy system will help the energy networks reach Net Zero as fast as possible.

Partnering once more with global energy advisory company DNV, the updated DSO Roadmap and Implementation Plan marks another important milestone that the project has achieved on the DSO transition to date, which is laying down the path for a transparent, data-driven smart grid.

DSO brings network decision making closer to consumers, with network operators managing the network at a local level resulting in more control over local supply and demand.

Managing the energy network through DSO can:

  • help to bring more low-carbon flexibility services onto the network;
  • lower energy bills by reducing the need for reinforcement; and
  • reduce power cuts by increasing performance in local networks

Randolph Brazier, ENA’s Director of Innovation and Electricity Systems said:

“Britain’s energy networks are delivering a future power grid that leaves nobody behind, letting homes, businesses and communities make the most of their electric vehicles, batteries and solar panels to power us towards Net Zero emissions.

“In order to fully realise the benefits of the growing number of local flexible resources, Britain’s energy networks need to be able to operate in a more adaptable and flexible way to manage local supply and demand. In turn this will help reduce bills and power cuts for customers.”

Rafiek Versmissen, Director of Energy Markets & Technology at DNV, added:

“DNV is proud to have worked with ENA once more to update the DSO Roadmap and Implementation Plan, which provide essential visibility and confidence to all energy industry stakeholders into the evolution to a smart, flexible energy system.

“This year’s first update demonstrates the tremendous growth and progress our networks have made in delivering DSO for the benefit of our energy system.”

Notes to editor

  • A webinar, which will include a practical run through of the Roadmap alongside an opportunity for Q&As, will be held on Tuesday 20 April 14:00-15:30. Find out more on ENA’s events page.
  • The updated DSO Roadmap all associated materials are available to view via ENA’s Resource library, with further updates to be made by Q3 2021.
  • The latest round of collated flexibility procurement figures show there's been a 41% increase in the volume of flexibility being tendered in 2021 compared to last year. They are available on ENA’s Resource library.

Examples of flexibility services include:

  • Households charging their electric vehicles at off-peak times or when it is sunniest, whilst other households’ domestic solar panels are generating electricity.
  • Businesses striking demand-side response agreements to adjust their electricity use at the times of day when they least need it, helping reduce the need and cost of building new infrastructure.
  • Using battery storage to help network operators proactively manage a rapidly changing electricity grid where electricity now flows in many different directions, rather than in just one as it has done in the past

The project has also updated its Potential Conflicts of Interest and Unintended Consequences Register, which is also part of the DSO Transition workstream of Open Networks. The tracker is a risk log that analyses the work programme and captures any potential conflicts of interest or unintended consequences which could arise and potentially compromise the energy system’s ability to operate at its best and most efficient.

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We provide assurance to the entire energy value chain through our advisory, monitoring, verification, and certification services. As the world's leading resource of independent energy experts and technical advisors, we help industries and governments to navigate the many complex, interrelated transitions taking place globally and regionally, in the energy industry. We are committed to realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement, and support our customers to transition faster to a deeply decarbonized energy system

About us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

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